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Somalia extremist attack in port city of Kismayo kills 26

Somali forces Saturday morning ended an all-night siege on a hotel in the southern port city of Kismayo, in which the death toll has risen to 26 people, including a prominent Canadian-Somali journalist and several foreigners, officials say.

Those killed include three Kenyans, three Tanzanians, two Americans, one Canadian and one Briton, said Ahmed Madobe, the president of Jubbaland regional state which controls Kismayo. 56 people, including two Chinese, were injured in the hotel attack, he told reporters.

At least four al-Shabab assailants attacked the Asasey Hotel Friday evening, beginning with a suicide car bomb at the entrance gate and followed by an assault by gunmen who stormed the hotel, which is frequented by politicians, patrons and lawmakers.

The attack lasted more than 14 hours before troops shot dead all attackers inside the hotel compound, Col Abdiqadir Nur, a local police officer, told The Associated Press.

Somalia’s Islamic extremist rebels, al-Shabab, claimed responsibility for the attack. Al-Shabab, which is allied to al-Qaida, often uses car bombs to infiltrate heavily fortified targets like the hotel in Kismayo, which has been relatively quiet in recent years.

Mogadishu-based independent radio station Radio Dalsan confirmed to The Associated Press that Canadian journalist Hodan Nalayeh and her husband, Farid Jama Suleiman, died in the attack.

"I'm absolutely devastated by the news of the death of our dear sister Hodan Nalayeh and her husband in a terrorist attack in Somalia today. What a loss to us. Her beautiful spirit shined through her work and the way she treated people," Omar Suleiman, a Texas-based imam who knew the victim, wrote on social media.

Nalayeh was born in Somalia in 1976, but spent most of her life in Canada, first in Alberta and then in Toronto. She founded Integration TV, an international web-based video production company aimed at Somali viewers around the world. She was the first Somali woman media owner in the world.

Somali soldier inspect wreckage of vehicles after a car bomb that was detonated in Mogadishu, Somalia Saturday, Oct 28, 2017. At least ten people were killed and several others wounded in the blast in Somalia's capital, police said. (AP Photo/Farah Abdi Warsameh)
Somali soldier inspect wreckage of vehicles after a car bomb that was detonated in Mogadishu, Somalia. Source: Associated Press


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